When Jack W. Kay, the firm’s original founder, began a small accounting practice out of his home in Livingston, New Jersey in 1952, he never would have imagined it would grow into one of New Jersey’s award-winning, premier accounting firms. With the help of his wife Harriet, their client base of small business owners, doctors and professionals grew to over a hundred by the mid-1970s. Clients became friends, friends became clients. Jack’s philosophy of giving personal attention to a client’s financial well-being resonates within the firm to this day.
Growing By Leaps and Bounds
In 1978, Jack took on his first partner, Steven L. Levine CPA/PFS/CGMA, and the firm of Kay, Levine & Company was created. The practice continued to grow and thrive with the addition of Richard M. Hoffman, CPA/CGMA in 1982, and shortly thereafter Robert J. Blackwell, CPA/PFS/CGMA merged his practice into theirs. After enjoying a successful career, Jack W. Kay retired in 1984. Three years later, in the fall of 1987, Michael H. Karu, CPA/CFF/CGMA, became the second partner to merge into the practice, and the partnership changed its name to Levine, Hoffman, Blackwell and Karu (LHBK).
The Transformation Continues
One of the most significant changes came in August of 1996, when the accounting firm of Jacobs, Siegel & Company of Springfield merged with LHBK, instantly doubling the size of the practice. Also in 1996 Timothy J. Shore, CPA/CGMA became a partner, and would eventually co-manage the practice. This merger brought forth another name change to Levine, Jacobs & Company, L.L.C. These dynamic changes created the need for larger space, and, being true to their Livingston roots, they moved to their current location on Eisenhower Parkway in 1999.
This long standing Essex County firm focused on continued growth over the next several years both organically and through mergers with smaller practices and sole practitioners. In 2004 James Kruper, CPA, originally a staff accountant with Jacobs, Siegel, was promoted to partner. In 2000, the firm of Soloway & Levine joined the practice, followed by David M. Horn, CPA in 2001, Arnold Winick, CPA in 2005, and Mario Galazzo, CPA in 2006.
Positioning the Firm and Exceeding Expectations
Kim Forrester, CPA/CGMA, became the first woman partner in 2017 making Levine, Jacobs & Company one of the top rated, mid-size accounting firms in New Jersey. While in 2018, when Charles F. Ott, MBA/CPA joined the practice as a co-managing partner, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge in tax and advisory services, and a vision to grow and modernize the practice to meet the demands of an ever-changing financial world.
Today, Levine, Jacobs & Company remains true to the cornerstones of integrity, financial expertise and unparalleled client satisfaction on which it was founded almost seven decades ago by continuing to enhance the client experience. The firm is dedicated to professional staff development and technological advancement as it pivots in this ever changing business environment.